How to Use Ratios with Food Coloring Mixing Charts For Perfect Icing or Frosting Colors

How to use ratios to mix food coloring

I personally think that color is the most exciting part about cake or cookie decorating. I love to put together just the right colors for each set of cookies I make! I love the process of combining food coloring in a new way to create a surprising color. 

But for most people, getting the EXACT shade of icing or frosting you want can be a frustrating experience, no matter the brand of food coloring or food dye that you are using. So I created color palettes with formulas to help you expertly recreate all of the colors you see in my book or on my blog!

Icing color formula charts for mixing the exact shade of icing that you want!

 I LOVE COLOR!!! I love color so much that I dedicated an entire section of my book to color and color formulas. (The color charts in my book use Americolor soft gel paste coloring.)

color palettes for decorated sugar cookies

I also filled a whole page of my website with color palettes and food coloring formulas.  (The color palettes on my website use Chefmaster liqua-gel food coloring.)

I use RATIOS in all of my color formulas and I just want to explain that a little bit further in case you've never worked with ratios. 

Ratios are not an exact formula with an exact number of drops of food coloring for an exact amount of icing. It's a relationship between two or more food colors. I use ratios because **MY** drops of icing might be a different size than **YOUR** drops of icing. And unless we start weighing out our food coloring...exact equations for colors and icing don't really make sense. 

Ratios will get you really close to the color you want to make...but they can be a little confusing the first time around. So let's take this one step at a time.

Let me walk you through the process. First, you've got to narrow down all these color choices. I've chosen the lightest purple on the top row. All 3 of the purples on the top row have the same color formulas to the side -- 3 parts electric pink and 1 part electric blue.

So I grab my icing and put in 3 drops of electric pink and 1 drop of electric blue. Simple so far, right?

Icing color chart - how to make lavendar icing or frosting

I mix it together and refer back to my chart. I can see that MY purple is somewhere between Purple 13B and Purple 13C. Since I want it to be Purple 13C, I'm going to add a little more white icing to make it more pale again. If I wanted it to be the darkest shade (Purple 13A) I would continue to add food coloring in the same ratio (3 parts electric pink and 1 part electric blue) until it was as saturated as I wanted it to be.

Some advice - when you are first beginning to use these charts and formulas, start with small amounts of royal icing and small drops of food coloring until you get a fee for how saturated each food coloring is. It's easier to add more food coloring (in the same ratios of course!) than it is to lighten the color up again.

All of my food coloring charts - both from the book and on my website - can be used to color royal icing, buttercream icing, and fondant. They're not just for cookie decorators. They can be helpful for cake and cupcake decorating too!


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